Community Greens

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The Tomato Diaries

2394629_240624_tomato20for20letterheadWelcome to the Tomato Diaries: I am going to plant 6 different tomato varieties, from Beefsteak to Cherry, this year. I will duplicate the plantings in 5 gallon buckets and compare the results. The Tomato Diary will keep you updated and provide tips on growing great tomatoes. Let’s begin with one of the most common complaints and concerns about tomato growing.

Why Tomato Plants Split

A tomato split (or crack) is caused by the tomato plant absorbing water too quickly.  The inside expands but skin can’t stretch to accommodate the extra fluid.  So, the skin splits and heals up.

This can happen for a few reasons

  1. You forget to water regularly and the soil gets to dry.  Then you finally remember and water a lot to make up for it or it rains.  The plant drinks up the water super fast and the skin splits.
  2. Your water regularly (everyday after work) but it is extremely hot today.  The soil evaporates and the plants dry out.  When you get home from work and water, the plants absorb the water too quickly and the tomatoes split.
  3. Your soil is sandy and does not have enough organic matter to hold water.  The plants dry and the next time it rains the plants absorb water too quickly and the tomatoes split.

You can prevent tomato splits

  1. Maintain soil moisture by watering frequently and deeply. This will decrease the chances of rain splitting your tomatoes.
  2. Maintain soil moisture covering the soil with mulch. This will prevent the water from evaporating.
  3. Don’t over fertilize to prevent the plant from growing too quickly.
  4. Choose more resistant varieties if you live in a hot climate.

You can eat split tomatoes

You can eat tomatoes with splits. You should pick them as soon as possible.  They don’t last as long because of the weakness in the protective skin.  Just cut out the affected area and enjoy.

Filed under: CGGrows, Community Green, Food, Gardening, Healthy Eating, , ,

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